The General Dental Council (GDC) will be introducing compulsory continuing professional development (CPD) for all dental care professionals on 1 August 2008.
The introduction of compulsory CPD is in line with the GDC’s Standards Guidance, which sets out the principles that all registered dental professionals should follow, including the maintenance of their professional knowledge and competence. CPD for dental care professionals is also an important first step in the planned introduction of revalidation, which will mean that all members of the dental team have to regularly show they are still fit to be on the GDC registers.
Under the requirements of the CPD scheme, all DCPs will complete and record 150 hours of CPD every five years, a third of which should be verifiable CPD (50 hours). This should include verifiable CPD in the following core subjects:
• medical emergencies (10 hours per cycle)
• disinfection and decontamination (5 hours per cycle)
• radiography and radiation protection (5 hours per cycle).
Dental technicians may substitute radiography and radiation protection for materials and equipment (5 hours per cycle) as radiography is not within the dental technician curriculum. In line with the dentists’ CPD scheme, it is recommend that DCPs involved in the care of patients should undertake CPD in legal and ethical issues and complaints handling.
There are many ways for dental care professionals to complete CPD, ranging from team training, attendance at courses and lectures, to reading journals and private study.
Duncan Rudkin, GDC chief executive and registrar, said: ‘Compulsory CPD maintains public confidence in the Dentists and Dental Care Professionals Registers by showing that dentists and registered dental care professionals keep up to date so that they can give their patients a good standard of care.
‘With only ten months to go until CPD becomes compulsory for all dental care professionals, we would like to see greater availability of training courses in this area.’
The GDC will producing guidance for DCPs on the CPD requirements. This will be sent to all registered DCPs in the new year. Further information about CPD for DCPs is available on the GDC website at http://www.gdc-uk.org